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Impact - A Blog by INM

Archive for 'February 2009'

    Small is In: :Where is the small devices trend headed?

    The move towards smaller and less commercially dependent computing systems demonstrates the interconnected nature of market conditions as financially strapped consumers are opting for these new breeds of mini-systems causing fears for the PC manufacturers who are growing more concerned with the economic impact of this trend.

    In an article in the New York Times Technology section titled “Smaller PC’s Cause worry for Industry”, Matt Richtel wrote about how these smaller technologies are reducing the profit margins of the old kids on the block such as Microsoft, HP, and Intel.

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    Small is In: Where is the 'small netbooks' trend coming from?

    Smaller netbooks are preferred by the ‘digital nomads’ in our society. Best seen in the backpacks of travelers, wayfarers and students who appreciate the freedom and flexibility that these mini-computers provide, today’s tribe is traveling more and has an ‘always-on’ mentality. So much of our user experience is on-the-go computing in which we are empowered to find and share information as we find it, rather than wait until we are at our desk to blog, tweet or add photos to our profile. In this mobile age, it holds true that for many of us, the first thing we ask is ‘Is there Wi-Fi available?”. We appreciate instant access to this information and feel lost without a connection.

    The cost of netbooks is quite low and provides an easy point of entry for students and those who are budget conscious. This can be attributed to the cost of existing hardware, components and monitors now being much cheaper than they were in the golden age of personal computing.

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    Over 100 Million Installations of Adobe AIR!

    Adobe has recently announced that AIR has been installed over 100 million times and credit applications such as: Adobe Media Player, AOL Top 100, eBay Desktop, TweetDeck and Twirhl in helping to generate this number.

    You can read more about this announcement and find details as to how this figure was calculated on the Adobe AIR Blog.

    “Small is In" - Economic Woes Trigger Push toward Smaller Devices

    In these tough economic times, budgets, incomes and staff levels aren’t the only things shrinking. Tower computing systems, super-sized 17-inch laptops and brick sized mobile phones are all being replaced by sleek, tiny devices and peripherals which pack high-level performance into their small form factors.

    We’re seeing innovation at a reduced size via the launch of some notable products like the miniscule 7”, 9” and 12” Inspiron Mini laptops offered by Dell (at a sub $500 price range) as well as the EEEPC line from Asus. Not only do these computers speak to the budget conscious, but they are a worthy selection for any student, business traveler, or executive looking for a decent portable solution without breaking the bank.

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    Building Your Business Case for Your eLibrary: Preparing your content

    Proper planning is essential in the preparation of content for your eLibrary initiative. While this can seem daunting due to the large volume of content you may need to manage, breaking your materials into workable units and dividing your tasks into small steps will help you to take control and effectively prepare for the launch of your eLibrary. Examine your existing content: Make a list of the type of resources you have and the formats they currently exist in. For example, you may have a combination of physical printed books, eBooks, print and digital magazines, self-produced documents in PDF format, and more. By making this list, you can see how many different formats and file types you may need to support. It is also important to consider non-print resources, such as audio books, eLearning materials, webinar content, and podcasts if these are part of your current collection. If your content is primarily available electronically, it’s important to look at how it’s presented, and what types of file formats it is in. If you have a mix or formats, it will be important to either choose a solution that can support this variety of file types, or to choose a common format that most files can be converted to easily, such as PDF. Respect Copyright: Today, there are large volumes of content already digitized and significant initiatives in place by groups such as Google to digitize millions of books. However, it is still highly unlikely that the authors and publishers of these works will allow the free distribution of their content over the web. Digital Rights Management (DRM) limits the ability for users to spread content without the expressed permission of the publisher or author. There may also be additional limitations on what may be done with digital materials based on the number of concurrent viewers able to access documents at one time or a cap placed on the number of licenses shared within an organization. If your list contains many resources that are currently in print format, you will need to contact the publisher to see if you can either obtain permission to digitize the assets for inclusion in an eLibrary, or if you will need to re-purchase the materials in a digital format. In the case of industry journals, it may be within your rights to make electronic copies of the journal articles available to your employees, but not permissible for you to make these same documents available to partners or customers. Convert Your Materials: If your content is primarily available in print format, it may be necessary to digitize it before building your eLibrary.If your print collection is large, don’t let the conversion process put your entire project on-hold. It may be possible to convert your print materials in batches and add them to your eLibrary. In the meantime, a hybrid solution may be available to include abstracts of the print documents in your search results and a reference to their physical locations. You could also evaluate your existing content and develop a conversion strategy prioritizing the most searched for materials at a higher level of importance than more obscure topics and publications. Once you have your complete list of all that exists within your collection, you will best see any existing trends that may help you in evaluating how best to proceed. Organize and Index Your Content: Once you’ve established the list of content, you’ll need to examine how this content is organized and indexed. With many eLibrary technologies, it is possible to index content in many different ways, including full-text indexing, Boolean or keyword search, as well as using either standard categorization such as Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress classification systems. You will need to decide which model works best for your organization, but keep in mind that the more search categories you make available, the more likely it will be that results will be retrieved.You will also need to also consider what indexing data you have access to from the documents. Are the documents already tagged with metadata, or do you need to account for adding in the right information to support your chosen indexing model? What’s Your Long Term Content Strategy?: The next step in this process is to evaluate your long-term content strategy. If your library is a living collection, it will have new additions on a regular basis. How will you ensure that any new items to your collection are added and indexed within your eLibrary? Who will be responsible for this task? It is also important at this stage to look at what other sorts of content may be added in the future. If you believe that in the future, you may need to add-in multimedia content (audio, video, eLearning, etc…) to your eLibrary, you will want to be sure that this is on your list of future content requirements. The efforts dedicated to the creation or rework of an existing corporate eLibrary are certain to guarantee benefits for any business or organization provided a comprehensive content strategy is in place in advance of the digitization of existing content. By taking the time to define and index your current materials as well to as give consideration to any future content that may be added, you will not only save time and costs, but have an eLibrary solution which meets your needs for years to come.

    Building Your Business Case for Your eLibrary

    The most important take-away when preparing your business case is that the document doesn't need to be lengthy in order to be effective and successful. Below is a short review of the steps you'll need to undertake in developing a well-defined business case for your eLibrary initiative.

    Create an Executive Summary: This is where you list the most important points of the business case and describe the situation, what the proposed solution will accomplish, how best to proceed, who and what will be involved, benefits, costs as well as start and end dates for implementation. It's best to write this section once you've formulated all of your points and worked through each element of your plan. List the Objectives: Describe why a need is present. What is the current situation? / Who is being impacted? Provide background information on how things are and give an understanding of the current situation. Describe what your proposed solution seek to change? Describe the various eLibrary Alternatives: List details of the alternatives you considered along with the costs, benefits and drawbacks for each. Examine financial considerations, space and personnel requirements and any qualitative items such as best practices or employee perception. Look at solutions that speak to the user experience within your library environment. Provide details on your selected option: Describe the chosen option and give points on why it is the best one. Reinforce the costs and benefits. If you have suggestions re: funding or partnerships then list these ideas. State the start and completion time as well as the individuals required to participate in this solution. How will this solution fit within the current library structure? Define the budget: To allow for accuracy, start with listing the project costs. Include costs for software solutions, developer costs, communication hours, etc. For some people, it’s easier to list everything out in hours required and then translate this figure into dollar amounts. Keep in mind that you are creating an estimate which serves as a guide for decision making. Examine your internal costs as well as external ones. Also keep in mind such items as maintenance and support costs, vendor fees, licensing fees, costs to digitize documents based on the volume of materials you have as well as quality assurance time. Plan the implementation of your eLibrary solution: Provide some approximation as to how the solution will be put into effect. What is the ‘action plan’? Define the strategy and milestones for delivery. Describe who will work on this project. What is required of these individuals? Who will manage the resources dedicated to this initiative as well as monitor the timelines? Do you require any additional external resources? What is the project schedule? How will you respond to any changes? What risks are involved and how will you address them? How will you measure success? Create an appendix: Add all supporting information in this section including charts, research materials and calculations.

    Building a Business Case for Your eLibrary: 3 Part Series

    Stay tuned to this blog for an upcoming series of 3 blog posts relating to how to build a business case for your eLibrary. Our mission is to provide you with some guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to prepare all of the information you'll need to gather in order to develop a well-defined business case for your eLibrary initiative.

    By spending time to build an effective business case, effective decision making can be achieved and in turn both cost and time savings will result. It will also help to ensure your solution meets its initial scope, provides results, stays within budget and is on time.

    The 3 topics we will explore in this series are: - Building Your Business Case - Preparing Your Content - Comparing eLibrary Technologies

    We're hoping you'll find this series useful. Look for a series of webinars and white papers on these subjects as well.

    nycgo: A Geolocal RIA powered by Google Maps

    Oftentimes, it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel when developing a Rich Internet Application (RIA). A perfect example of leveraging an existing solution to construct a useful application is the latest initiative from NYC & Company which provides visitors and residents of New York City with an immersive website that provides recommendations for local hotspots, cool hangouts and tasty eateries.

    nycgo, uses Google Maps API for Flash to provide directions for recommended locations throughout the city. A map of the location is available in the sidebar of each feature story allowing for quick information within the same page, saving the user a trip to an additional page to secure this information. It’s details like this that show the potential of geolocalization-specific RIA’s.

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